WBO global junior featherweight champion, Wasiru Mohammed sent a light signal after the devastating knockout of John Amuzu in Accra last Friday, of his seriousness in wanting a date with main WBO champion Emanuel Navarette.
The US-based Beninois boxer was rendered a near casualty by a barrage of combinations from a mean-looking Wasiru Mohammed in the fourth round. Wasiru struck the more experienced Amuzu with a dazing overhead right which sent him unto the ropes.
This gave the Ghanaian boxer his green light to unleash his combination of lefts and rights to send Amuzu down and unconscious.
The scene was a frenzied one after Amuzu fell awkwardly on the canvas forcing Referee Erasmus Owoo rush to take out his gum protector and turn him on his side.
The ringside medical personnel rushed into the ring to help the Benin-born boxer to his feet. In a true gesture of sportsmanship, Wasiru, after kneeling and kissing the canvas three times to thank Allah with a prayer walked to the scene to check if Amuzu was ok.
In the post-bout interview, Wasiru who had successfully defended his title repeated the statement which many a boxing pundit around the world would describe as ambitious – that he wants to challenge WBO Champion, Emanuel Navarette.
Emanuel ‘el Vaquero’ Navarette, is scheduled to stage a voluntary defence against number five contender, Jeo Santisima on February 22.
Wasiru, a.k.a. Gyata bi (offspring of a lion) has his discipline and fine fight craft going for him but on paper, there are a few things the Mexican-born world champion has as big advantages.
Navarette became a world champion for the first time after defeating a Ghana’s boxing darling boy Isaac Dogboe. The El Vaquero repeated the dose on Dogboe and will have a big dose of confidence from that experience.
The Mexican has also moved out of his comfort zone of Mexico to stage the fight in the US. ‘El Vaquero’ as he is known has more fight experience and has had a diverse range of opponents to test his skill and will as well. He has a good reach which he effectively uses to his advantage, hand speed and is able to withstand pressure.
Wasiru a product of the Fit Square Gym in his native Accra Ghana, a place credited for developmental boxing is very focused on the journey and is ready to break his back to get there. With his new record of 12-0, (11 KOS), Wasiru has fought mainly Ghanaian and African opponents.
He has a big punch and has demonstrated the ability to read his opponents before taking the fight to them.
The big question, however, is whether he can overcome his reach disadvantage and unsettle Navarette is he gets the opportunity?
Chances of a date with Navarette
Wasiru, by virtue of his WBO global belt, has a good chance just like any boxer in the top fifteen for any of Navarette’s future voluntary defenses.
What his new team Fight Ready Promotions need to do is to follow the lead of the likes of Rising Star Africa Promotions (Isaac Dogboe’s team) who sealed a partnership with the gallant Top Rank to move his career to an appreciable place.
Another Ghanaian whose team sealed strategic partnerships and alliances to get their boxer into the space of relevance is former IBF champion, Richard Commey. StreetWise Management worked to get Commey bouts on strategic stages to get him the needed exposure and testing ahead of his main shot at the world title.
Another example is that of three-time world champion Joseph Agbeko who under previous manager, Vinny Scolpino and Don King Promotions landed and fully utilized the opportunity against Luis Alberto Perez when he (Agbeko was number 13 contender). So it is possible only that the very ambitious, hungry and target-driven Wasiru Mohammed needs some more exposure to place him in Navarette’s face some more.
In as much as this bout is possible, a win to avenge the defeat of his compatriot Isaac Dogboe is possible, unrealistic as it may sound. And it could also just be the case that Wasiru could be added to the Mexican’s list of conquests. The developments in the coming months will tell whether this bout can come off.